Monday, May 26, 2008

Dirt & poo

Landscaping has begun for sure. We spent a good bit of the weekend spreading & tilling in these 2 piles: one is loam, the other composted manure. Note: we had pretty nasty colds the whole time - thanks Daniel! So the going was fairly slow, but we got it done in time to return the tiller tomorrow.

It took an entire day to haul all the dirt around, and the piles kept looking like we hadn't made a dent. There was about 20 yards of material, so it was kind of a lot.

Without a tractor or a crew, we used the giant wheelbarrow to spread the big piles into teeny little piles all over the part of the yard that will become gardens & beds. After Ken had already tilled the whole yard up. The tiller was a little wild, with a tendency to try to run away, but he kept it in pretty good control. We had our soil tested too, so we had a bunch of amendments that needed to be added, since nobody had touched the soil in many, many years. It was pretty much a packed-down clay weed bed before this weekend.

Then we flattened out the piles and then Ken tilled all that stuff in a few times, leaving us with a lovely, flatter, compostier, more nutritious yard.

We also managed to cut in all the new perennial beds out front, where the evil yews were, and planted the snowberries, astilbe, and lady's mantle there, before the poor little plants expired in their pots. The landscaping plan is for an all green & white garden (except a few existing perennials and some annual beds, where we get to go crazy with color!), so we've got Snowdrift and Deutschland astilbes. We'll see how they work en masse. All the plants are pretty dinky, due to budget constraints, but they'll all grow (we hope), especially with their fab new dirt & poo.

At the end of the day, tired & beyond filthy, the vegetable garden went in - in its new spot, basically next to the dining room. I had to dig up the snap peas from the old garden, let them hang out in milk crates while we did all the tilling, and then replanted them tonight. They look pretty good - hopefully they survived the transplant!

We've got a couple days out of town this week to relax and recuperate before next weekend, when we'll hopefully excavate for the patio. Another pile or two (gravel & sand) will get delivered to the driveway this week.


Anonymous said...

That was a ton of work. I once had 9 cu. yds of stuff delivered, and when I saw the pile I thought I had my life's work in front of me.

I'm unbelievably amazed that you got that stuff spread out in one day.

Anonymous said...

How many inches deep of that stuff did you add?

sarah said...

Yeah, it took a long time and our arms were dead from shoveling/bucketing.

Trudy - 1" in the front part of our yard, 2" elsewhere. The calculation for the area you want to cover is: length(ft) x width (ft)x depth desired(inches)/12, then divide all by 27 to convert cu feet to cu yards (called just 'yards').

Susie said...

Wow! I am so impressed! It makes the work I did this weekend seem pitiful in comparison!

We had a great time meeting you guys and look forward to hanging out again in the future. Get some well-deserved rest :)